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items tagged with Lauren VanSpeybroeck

Once on This Island: "The Tempest," at the District Theatre through November 24
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-11-18 15:14:22

Ed Villarreal, Tristan Tapscott, and Bryan Tank in The TempestDirector Chris Causer plays up the baser parts of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest in the District Theatre’s latest production, taking the debauchery of Bryan Tank’s Trinculo, a coxcomb of a servant, and Ed Villarreal’s Stephano, a drunken butler, to their limits. (And sometimes mine.) The scenes involving the two men bickering, and their leading around of Todd Schwartz's crazy-ish castaway Caliban – a native to the island that serves as the play's setting – drew large laughs from Friday’s audience, and broke up the serious tone of the rest of the tale.


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He and His Shadow: "Peter Pan," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through July 21
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-07-15 12:00:00

Sarah Lounsberry in Peter PanQuad City Music Guild’s Thursday-night preview performance of Peter Pan – which, it should be stressed, was still technically a rehearsal – clocked in at roughly an hour and 55 minutes, making director Beth Marsoun’s presentation at least a half-hour shorter than any of the four other Peter Pans I’ve thus far seen on stage. This proved, at alternating times, to be both a very good thing and a rather unfortunate thing. But let’s start with the good.


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Family / A Fair: "Meet Me in St. Louis," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through June 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-06-11 12:01:00

JJ Johnson, John Donald O'Shea, Jay Rakus, Leigh VanWinkle, Sue Somes, and Elisabeth Gonzales (back row); Lauren VanSpeybroeck, Katie Osborne, and Laila Haley (front row) in Meet Me in St. LouisQuad City Music Guild’s Meet Me in St. Louis seems to me a beautifully gift-wrapped empty box. Designer Kevin Pieper’s sets are grand and detailed with touches, such as light fixtures and curtains, that are appropriate for the piece's 1904 setting. Sara Laufer’s choreography fits the feel of the songs, exuding high-energy fun without being overdone. Costume designer Cindy Monroe’s period creations are gorgeous – particularly the women’s feathered, wide-brimmed hats. And the actors are, for the most part, in fine voice, and offer cheerily spirited characterizations. I enjoyed the sights and sounds during Thursday’s performance. The story, however, barely interested me.


Read More About Family / A Fair: "Meet Me In St. Louis," At The Prospect Park Auditorium Through June 17...


All the Worlds of Stage: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss Area Theatre in 2011
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2011-12-15 17:53:34

Tom Walljasper, Kristin Gilbert, and John Payonk in HairsprayThe Reader's chief theatre reviewer, Thom White, saw and wrote about 52 area stage productions in 2011. I saw 39 and reviewed 12. Obviously, during our second-annual breakfast chat on the Year in Theatre, there was a bit to talk about.


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This Way Madness Lies: "King Lear," at Lincoln Park through July 24
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-07-18 12:03:00

James Alt and Pat Flaherty in King LearThere may be some of you who hear the title King Lear and, knowing only of the play’s reputation as the mack daddy of all Shakespeare tragedies, immediately presume that any evening production of the piece will last well into the next morning. Allow me, then, to quell your fears: Saturday’s Genesius Guild staging of the Bard’s opus began promptly at eight o’clock, and after the night’s presentation had concluded, I was back in my car by 10:55.


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